Development Program

Welcome to Player Development!

As many of you already know, Player Development is one of the most exciting and controversial area of sport in the world. It is where champions are bred, competitions are played on the world stage and all stakeholders in this dynamic domain bare their hearts and souls in the pursuit of international success. Player Development is also where you can make the front and back pages of the newspapers for great achievements or your worst failures.

The area of Player Development covers a wide range of the tennis spectrum from the budding 6 year old who tries out for the Talent Search program.
Whether trying to make a career out of tennis as a player, coach, administrator or official, the journey is very rewarding and one that teaches you many life lessons along the way. The desire, commitment, focus and hard work required are skills that transcend in to a successful life on and off the court.

The Player Development area has been set up using four (4) key areas:

  • Player Development Structure
  • Training Pathway
  • Competition Pathway
  • Talent Identification

The information has been written to give all stakeholders a clearer understanding of what is required to be a successful player and what is available to help them to realize their dreams.

Route 6/90 – A Game for Life

Research has shown that tennis is one of the healthiest, least injurious sports youngsters can play. Tennis is a lifetime sport. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem. It teaches self-discipline, self-reliance and respect for other. But above all, it provides a good way of performing physical exercise whilst having fun.

Tennis is a great sport for many reasons; not least the fact that it provides a sporting activity can be played for life. It can be played and is played by many people from age 6 to age 90 – “Route 6/90”.

Tennis as a sport has many benefits both from a physical and mental standpoint. On the physical side, it helps to build aerobic fitness, speed, co-ordination/agility and upper and lower body strength.

From a psychological / emotional point of view, tennis (particularly tennis competition) teaches many vital lessons for life.

  • Ability to deal with adversity / stress.
  • Importance of discipline/work ethic.
  • Ability to win with grace/lose with honour
  • How to problem solve
  • Importance of sportsmanship/fair play
  • How to develop independence / accept responsibility for actions.
  • Importance of team work.
  • The social/interaction skills necessary for life.

Most important of all from a physical and mental point of view is that because the healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness, physical challenge and success are inherent in the sport, playing the sport is fun.

What parent would not wish their child to develop the above attributes!

The primary role of a tennis clubs/associations can be simplified into two main areas.

  • More players
  • Better players

A major objective of clubs/regional association should in the future be to create healthy competitive opportunity on a club / regional basis for the age group 6-35 creating for those juniors who do not become professionals. This could include:

  • Interclub/Inter-regional events
  • Inter Business leagues
  • 8+, 10+, 12+, 14+, 16+, 18+ events and rankings.

As in business, where it is important to adapt the product to the customer, it will also be vital to amend the tournament formant and system to suit the people (Customer) in each age category (i.e. working hours, time commitment, social aspect etc.)

“Route 6/90” should present competitive opportunities for all players of all levels and ages. The road shown illustrates the ideal situation and should help National Federation to better plan their national competitive structure.

It is hoped that this Format and Ideas contained will help make tennis competitions around the regional, country and world fun, challenging and motivating and in turn, help to increase the number of tennis players all levels of the games.

Development Plan

6 Years

Regular Coaching Programme Mini Tennis Programme Mini Tennis Team Competitions

8-11 Years

Regular Coaching Programme Club Competition Inter-Club Competitions
Primary School Competitions Inter-School Competitions Local Tournaments

11-14 Years

Regular Coaching Programme National Championship Regional Championships
Club Championship Inter-Club Championship Regional & World TeamChampionship

14-18 Years

Coaching Programme International Championship National Championships
ITF Junior Circuit Championships Club Championship Inter-Club
Regional & World Team Championship    

18-35 Years

Coaching Programme Club Championship/Competitions Inter-Club Competition
Local graded events Inter-company leagues One day tournament
Inter-regional events Professional Circuits National Championships
Grand Slam Satellite; Features Davis Cup, Fed Cup

35-90 Years

Inter-Club, Regional events National Vet’s Championships Regional Vets event
World Team Championships ITF Vets Circuit World Individual Championships